Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Making a case for Joe Burrow

Comeback Player of the Year Odds: Making a case for Joe Burrow

Ryan Knuppel
2 years ago
3 min read
Joe Burrow surveys the field against the Titans defense during the AFC Divisional Round in Nashville

The Cincinnati Bengals have overcome just about all the odds thrown at them this season.

There were plenty of preseason predictions that had the Bengals tabbed to finish in last place in the AFC North. After proving the doubters wrong, Cincinnati overcame the Raiders in the first round of the playoffs and then upset the Titans in Tennessee during the divisional round.

This has been a resilient year for the Bengals without question, regardless of what happens in the AFC Championship game. But the man behind that mindset is the cool, calm, and collected second-year quarterback out of LSU, Joe Burrow.

Burrow’s Perseverance

Burrow was one of the most hyped draft picks coming out of college. He was a legend at LSU, where he led the Tigers to a National Championship and won the Heisman Award. As expected, he was selected first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Following a strong start to his rookie campaign, Burrow took a nasty hit in a Week 11 matchup against the Washington Football Team. It was determined that the quarterback had torn both his MCL and ACL in his left knee, and his season came to a premature end.

But he took his rehab seriously and worked his way back in time to start Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Second Year Season at a Glance

The 25-year-old QB was fairly consistent through the first portion of the season. He threw at least two touchdown passes from Week 1 through Week 8 before posting a two-interception dud in a Week 9 loss against the Browns. 

But following a few forgettable games, he hit a turning point in a Week 14 loss against the 49ers. Despite the loss, Burrow fired two touchdown passes compared to zero interceptions to go along with 348 yards through the air. Interceptions had plagued him up to that point, as he had already thrown 14.

But he would not throw another interception for the remainder of the regular season. The Bengals offense officially hit their stride following that Week 14 game.

From Week 15 through Week 17, the Bengals passing game looked like one of the best in the league.

Burrow threw nine touchdown passes and added 1,128 yards during that span. Most importantly, Cincinnati went undefeated during those three weeks and clinched the AFC North in Week 17, which allowed the team to rest Burrow during the final game of the regular season.

Is Burrow the Comeback Player of the Year

Joe Burrow might have a case for MVP, let alone Comeback Player of the Year. His only real competition is Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys for the CPOY.

The surface statistics are tremendous. Burrow posted 4,611 passing yards to go along with 34 touchdown passes compared to 14 interceptions.

But there are even more impressive underlying numbers making a strong case for him to win the award.

Burrow finished the season with a league-leading 70.4 percent completion rate and an average of 8.9 yards gained per pass attempt, which also led the NFL. He combined value with consistency in his passing attack.

And he did all of this while taking the most sacks in the NFL with a mark of 51. Although he took plenty of blows, “Joe Cool” stayed strong and kept playing his game without displaying frustration with his lackluster offensive line.

Final Verdict

Joe Burrow will gain some MVP consideration. Although he is unlikely to take home the MVP this season, he should be in line for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.

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